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Obama Signs Funding Bill to Keep Government Open

  • VOA News

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, right, welcomes Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., far left, as they gather at the Capitol around a printout of the $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government for fiscal 2016, Dec. 16, 2015.

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, right, welcomes Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., far left, as they gather at the Capitol around a printout of the $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government for fiscal 2016, Dec. 16, 2015.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed emergency funding legislation that will keep the U.S. government fully operational while Congress votes on a final budget deal.

The bill will keep the government open through Tuesday, avoiding a partial shutdown this week.

The House and Senate are expected to vote Thursday on a $1.1 trillion spending plan for fiscal 2016.

The budget would extend many popular tax cuts for businesses and individuals. A Republican proposal to end the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports is part of the budget deal, while Democrats got the five-year extension of tax breaks for producers of wind and solar energy that they wanted.

The bill also would impose a two-year freeze on a pair of taxes aimed at funding the president's signature health care law: a current tax on medical devices, and a tax on high-value health insurance plans that was to take effect in 2018.

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